After the rather solid entry we get what is essentially the NX01’s shakedown cruise where they encounter…something rather unsavory.
Originally broadcast on October 3, 2001 this is Fight or Flight.
Captain’s Log May 6, 2151
The Enterprise begins it’s exploration and, only two weeks out, find a ship filled with bodies that might have been used for experiments. They soon discover that the alien bodies have been harvested for triglobulin and leave the area before those responsible come back. After grappling with his conscience, Archer returns to the ship and Hoshi ends up activating the ships distress call. Soon they are attacked, but despite T’Pols concern with the human crews need to explore, Archer and the crew fend off their adversaries and ultimately befriend a new race known as the Axanar.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This episode starts with a great reminder of just how new this crew is to space and the galaxy in general. This is a time period without phasers or photon torpedoes, with minimal use of the transporters and a considerable lack of adventure for most of the crew. This is truly the early days of Human space exploration and it shows. Additionally, we get a real feel for the confrontational nature and distrust that T’Pol has toward her human crew. It is clear she doesn’t want to be there but is also curious to learn just what makes these strange people tick.
What makes this episode so interesting is that this episode marks the first moment the crew gets to explore an alien vessel and begin to learn that space is not the ‘fun’ place they all hope it will be. Unlike previous series where the ships feel more like a luxury cruise liners with weapons, this Enterprise feels like that of a Submarine command. The ship feels claustrophobic, the crew minimal with little downtime to do anything other than maintain the ship and survive the depth of space itself.
While there is not a lot of ‘distraction’ for the crew, they all seem willing and excited to see what they can see, despite the fact that the resident Vulcan seems to want them all to be careful. T’Pol’s nature comes to a head as Archer attempts to grapple with his actions or inactions when finding the bodies of aliens being harvested. In this moment we get a chance to see that this Captain is one with a strong sense of morals and a guiding principle to help others no matter what the threat. He is a good man and, while he might be guided by his emotions in many cases, he understand that in order for human’s to find their place in the universe, they need to show that they are friends and not conquerors. There is also some great character development for Hoshi as she struggles with her place on a starship. She is scared and unsure if she belongs in space but, in a critical moment, realizes that the opportunity to communicate with new species is too tempting and rewarding for her to give up. It’s a great moment and one that really shows just how out of depth this crew is but also how determined they are to find their way.
Overall, this is a pretty solid story for the second episode giving us a great look into several characters like T’Pol, Archer and Hoshi. We also get a really good idea of just how unprepared the Enterprise is for interstellar battle, it is still truly an experimental ship and one that will need some additional shakedown before they can really hope to survive for long.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn that Hoshi is claustrophobic and is used to the stars going a specific direction in order to sleep.
- We meet the Axanar who are later (were earlier?) mentioned on Star Trek the original series.
- Hoshi releases her pet Sluggo on a planet allowing it to survive on it’s own instead of cooped up on a starship. She tells her that she will do just fine, indicating that Hoshi herself is finding her place. Sadly, Dr Phlox will have to find something else to feed his bat.
- Archer notes a squeaking sound in his quarters that is driving him nuts.
- We also learn that Porthos apparently has issues with cheese, but Archer allows him to indulge on occation.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Strange New World
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Late To The Game 4/28/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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